Channeling Bret Michaels

That sounds really weird.

Why would anyone want to channel this guy?

Perfecting the duck face.
Perfecting the duck face.

I’m only kind of kidding, of course. I’m sure Bret Michaels has a ton to teach us about beating the odds given he has the worst kind of diabetes known to man and he still finds energy, health and time to dedicate to what he knows best: music, supporting our troops and veterans and canoodling with 80s-haired wanna-be vixens. Seriously, more power to him. [Side note: I own all three seasons of Bret Michael’s Rock of Love. Chew on THAT.]

It’s been THREE WHOLE MONTHS since I quit that painful excuse for a career move and I’m still right where I was on March 1st. I mean, I guess I’ve grown somewhat: I’ve meditated over the experience, did the due diligence of finding the moral lesson in the HUGE fail I had to endure, have beaten myself up and consoled myself a dozen and one times and have gone to and fro with lamenting and redeeming myself. The moral of the story is this: I totally and completely fucked up, reacted hastily to an expired situation and, because of the frustration this invoked, was blinded into thinking that the first company to come along and court me WAS INDEED MY SAVING GRACE. By accepting all the glorious things they offered, I’d show ex-company what I’m worth and man, won’t they be sorry to see me go. 

Well we all know how THAT worked out.

If my ex-company ever lamented that I left, I never knew about it. Though I suspect that my wise ex-boss surely saw me making this mistake as it was happening and, in her age and the infinite wisdom associated with her life experiences, she probably hoped for the best for me but surely thought I was being impulsive. And then she probably concluded that she didn’t want such an impulsive wreck to continue to run her business in Chile. So a pat on the back and “good luck to you” it was. As a person she was probably sad to see me go, but as a business woman she concluded that I had made my decision and life would go on.

Lesson learned: I was defiant. I acted impulsively. I was immature. I was all ego.

I crossed into what I thought was my field of dreams. All I had ever hoped for in structure, in organization, in position, in teamwork. Only to realize that NOTHING was as it had been promised and what had been painted to me on the outside was merely an illusion … or a wish list of where they wanted to be but had failed repeatedly to achieve. No ONE person was going to achieve that for them when the organization was screwed up, from the leader downward. Good people, talented even. But so much more to accomplish and, truth be told, a little fishy that as a group they still failed repeatedly to accomplish their wish list. I bowed out in the nick of time.

Lesson learned: I left more humbled than I’ve ever been in my life. I remain as humbled. I lost faith in teamwork; I lost faith in myself. I doubted myself. I beat myself up for making such a terrible mistake. I felt sorry for myself. All of this (and more) has made me pick myself up. Has made me push aside all the negativity, all the doubts, all the fears. A calloused me has emerged.

I’m less likely to be as impulsive now. I’m more apt to listen than to speak. I’m asking more questions and pushing for answers if something seems fishy. Unfortunately I’m also probably way more skeptical than ever before. I believe the word I’m looking for is tainted.

So why Bret Michaels, really?

All of the above has happened internally (obviously), while on the outside I’ve been on multiple job interviews. Some that have really, really interested me, others which I was quite skeptical about. Thus far, none have panned out. This in and of itself is hard on the self esteem. Some days turn into weeks and I realize that I’ve had no solid leads in well over double digit days. I fear becoming a has-been. I fear becoming irrelevant. I have images of turning 45 and realizing that I never worked again… I never dominated my area/project/division/what-have-you, again. Never killing it again. Add the stress of having one demanding toddler who at times flies off the handle to such an extent, I’m left wondering if I’m even losing at this whole parenting thing. Add a newly diagnosed epileptic dog. Add a traveling husband who is here only sometimes (and Murphy’s Law has it that he’s gone when shit truly hits the fan.)

Nothing is the end of the world, but every little thing adds up. And the thoughts that swirl in one’s own mind can be such ball busters.

Bret Michaels wasn’t necessarily impulsive in his decisions on Rock of Love. In fact, in the first season, everyone was sure he’d pick Heather. She seemed like the obvious choice as she was so much more his style and vibe (fake boobs and all!) Instead he picked Jes. Jes was cute, spunky, smart – the kind of girl other girls want to be friends with. Good decision. Smart, reliable. BUT SO NOT BRET MICHAELS! He made a safe decision, but not a decision that Bret himself could truly commit to … and he didn’t! Because then came Season 2 of Rock of Love. In what we now know to be typical Bret style – he likes the party girls and the centerfold types for a little while. But when it comes down to it, Bret is a man of substance. Again he floored us by not choosing Daisy and going with Ambre! The smart, flat-chested, career oriented girl that again, all girls would love to befriend! Then, out of nowhere, in Season Three he went COMPLETELY AGAINST everything we knew about him and he chose Taya instead of Mindy! Mindy – the all American girl!! Taya – literally the Penthouse something or other. I was totally distraught with that decision because Taya played it up that she was a lady and that all her Penthouse “spreads” were done “in taste.” She portrayed herself to be one way but really, she was as trashy as the rest! I’m disgusted just remembering ….

All of the above has nothing to do with my life lessons learned in the past six months. What I mean when I say I’m going to channel Bret Michaels, I really mean that I find solace in Poison’s song “Something to Believe In.” It reminds me that there are bigger problems out there, but I also know that we all have our own battles and we all need a little something to believe in everyday. Sometimes a good song is all you need to soothe a dark moment just enough. Once it’s over, you find you’re on the other side of the dark  moment and able to keep on moving.

“Road to God, take me home.” Thanks, Bret.

Did you like this? Share it:

Time warp

Ever since I moved to Chile in July 2009, I’ve entered a time warp. I kind of feel a little like Han Solo when he was frozen in carbon. Or for the younger generation of readers, like Austin Powers when he was cryogenically frozen for 30 years.

Our dearest Han, hung on a wall after being frozen. Via Star Wars Wiki

The point being that once I left San Francisco, it seems I just placed a bookmark where I left off so as to return at some point in the future and catch up on what’s been going on since I left. For instance, since I left the U.S., several things have occurred that I simply have no idea about, almost as if they came out of nowhere. Examples:

– Nicki Minaj – who is this and what does she do? Why do we care? Can someone give me a 90s or early 2000s equivalent, please? Also, please shed some light on why she looks that way.

– Tim Tebow – Ok, I get that he’s a football player and that this concept of “tebowing” was apparently brought to light because of him but…. no, wait, I beg to differ. Haven’t football players been getting down on one knee to thank God for that touchdown for like, EVER?? Again, what the hell? Why is he a big deal?

– Wikileaks – is it just me or is it eerily similar to Deep Throat and those involved in ultimately bringing down the Nixon administration? Whistle blowers or am I wrong?

– Leslie Nielsen DIED??!!!!!! Surely you can’t be serious. I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

– Glee – what is it and why was it so popular? Is it still popular? Is it like High School Musical, which is like Kids Incorporated which is like FAME?

Via childrenofthenineties.blogspot.com

And don’t even get me started on social media!! Facebook Timeline, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest – seriously I feel like my mom. All she wants in life is for someone to bring back her classic Motorola flip phone. What’s even more bothersome is that via osmosis I used to at least get some of the things that now completely blow my mind. How did this happen?? Did I spend too much time trying to figure out what’s going on in Chile that I lost sight of other details? Or is it that I simply stopped being around and associating with people who used to shed some light on all these mysterious things?

You know how we sit back and wonder at times when our dear old grandparents just stopped getting it? Well, apparently it happens at 35-ish!!!!

This brings me to the main topic at hand – this handy little site I stumbled upon just recently called Timehop. Now perhaps this is something all of you knew about since June of 2010 or something, but given all I’ve just laid out for you, it’s a big deal that I even know about this site AND FURTHER, found out about it on my own, so cut me some slack!

For the 2-odd people out there who may not know what it is, let me explain (bursting with pride and smugness, mind you, at the fact that I am explaining to YOU something I knew first! A-ha!!) – Timehop is a service that you subscribe to which taps into any social media account you may have and goes back one year in time to see what your status updates were on that particular site. Depending on how many social media outlets you register, Timehop taps them, compiles the info and sends you a daily email with the information. Hence, your own personal time capsule. I’m thinking it’s something that Facebook is trying to do with said Timeline but via Timehop, the info just appears in your inbox so you don’t have to do ANY searching or investigating. Viola! A time capsule for the lazy and unmotivated.

Let’s take a looksie, shall we?

The first Timehop email I got after subscribing was on April 11th of this year, which means that the email contained tweets and FB status updates from April 11, 2011. I didn’t recall at the time, but apparently a year ago I was flying out to NYC for work. Below, some snippets:

Via my Gmail Inbox

Apparently on April 11th I was catching the flight out to NYC and was, not to mention, a little bitter about the fact that I wasn’t traveling in Business.

The following day, April 12th, I received my info from a year earlier:

Via my Gmail Inbox

Obvi that a year ago on April 12th I was sublimely happy because 1) I was in NYC in 2) my fave – rainy weather, about to 3) hang out with good friends, in the meantime 4) going to the best place on Earth – TARGET then 5) eating and drinking to my little heart’s content, finally followed by sweet dreams in a 6) posh NYC hotel . I mean, if I didn’t just describe YOUR perfect day too then something’s wrong with you.

Of course, not all emails bring me back to a clear and precise moment in time. For example, the email from this morning with information from exactly a year ago:

Via my Gmail Inbox

Someone had their panties in a bunch…

Anyway, since coming across this site I should really get on updating my Twitter and Facebook feeds more often. Being that I’m DAYS from giving birth, you’d think I’d want to chronicle this experience a bit more (aside from SOME blog posts you may have taken a gander at, I’ve done NO chronicling.) My point being is that I really, really like this little site I stumbled across earlier this month. Like, a lot. On the one hand I’m patting myself on the back for finding SOMETHING on my own that seems cool (even if this has come and gone and I’m way behind the trend. So be it!) On the other hand, I find it very cool that there is now a service that will facilitate reminders of a moment in time from my past. And the best thing of all is that I don’t have to do anything that I don’t ALREADY do (i.e. update Twitter and FB whenever I deem necessary).

And for those of you out there that are tech wizards, ahead-of-the-curve hipsters, trend-setters and just basically IN THE KNOW, please consider providing a public service (to me) and filling me in on things that will steer me more towards “cool mom” as opposed to antiquated grandma (which is the direction I’m apparently heading towards at the age of 35! Ack!) After all, think about how sad it is that I just discovered Adele in November of 2011 … not only that, specifically “Rolling in the Deep.”

I mean… c’mon!!! Toss me a frickin’ bone here. I’m at the mercy of your wealth of knowledge and only this will differentiate me from lifelong “cool mom” or lifelong “lame mom.” What’s it gonna be?

Did you like this? Share it:

Crime, punishment … and justice?

If I write the name Daniel Zamudio, does it mean anything to you?

What if I wrote Daniel Zamudio is equal to or as similar as Matthew Shepard? Do you even remember him?

I have to admit that when I heard Matthew Shepard in comparison to the recent events surrounding Daniel Zamudio here in Chile, I had to do quick Google search. I didn’t immediately remember Matthew Shepard because his death occurred in 1998, just as I was spending a good four months living in Chile prior to starting my Junior year in college at UC Davis. In other words, I was too wrapped up in my own little world to have remembered the event or the subsequent rally for changes that occurred after it.

Daniel Zamudio passed away on March 27th, after almost a month-long grasp at life. He was beaten and tortured in early March by four men, claiming to be Neonazis. Once hospitalized, Daniel was put in an induced coma and was declared brain-dead just this past weekend. And now he’s passed on.

This doesn’t sound all that different from what occurred to Matthew Shepard on the night of October 6, 1998. A young, homosexual man, at the wrong place at the wrong time, surrounded by monsters who didn’t see him as human. Who saw him as less than human, enough so, that torture seemed irrelevant, the term almost not-applicable.

I wonder about the kind of school, whether formal or environmental, one needs to be exposed to so as to regard violence – no, TORTUREas irrelevant to a human or living being. In an attempt to wrap my mind around such acts, motivated strictly and only by hate and fear, I recalled quite vividly a course I took in college on Criminology. Before my Chilean counterparts ask themselves why on Earth I took a Criminology course in college when in fact I studied something completely different, briefly speaking, in the U.S. you are encouraged (forced) to study a wealth of subject matters during your first two years of studies. I had a sociology requirement and the criminology course fulfilled that requirement.

"Crime and Punishment" - classic novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky that takes us into a criminal mind and the motivation for murder.

Mostly what I remember about this course, where the first three months were spent explaining the different theories as to why criminals exist or why criminal acts occur, are two things: 1) it freaked me out and 2) there are theories upon theories upon theories behind the criminal mind. Last night I took to our storage room and after rummaging through some boxes, found my sophomore year notebook where my sorry version of notes from this class were buried deep. I guess I could have Googled the theories but I found it easier to refer to these notes because they were written in they “lay-est” of layperson’s terms (don’t worry, I won’t run through ALL of them – there are lots!)

The most basic of basic theories (and the oldest) is this: crime is a choice. People choose crime because there is absence of true punishment. This, coupled with self-interest, motivates the choice to commit crime.

Yet another theory states that criminals have different biological and/or psychological traits from those who are not criminals.

Another theory states that crime is learned, for example, via peers who are criminals or perhaps even in environments where crime per se isn’t condoned but isn’t necessarily frowned upon either (a controversial example I offer you: when purchasing pirated items is considered justified and not a crime.) Yes, I realize that especially here in Chile this is a controversial example.

Yet another theory tells us that when someone can’t achieve “normal” success (money, status, power, etc) via non-criminal routes, the pressure of this will result in crime under certain conditions.

Believe it or not, there is even a theory that states that our daily activities affect the likelihood that we’ll become a target of crime, especially if there is no type of authority or guardianship present during the process of said routine activities. I don’t so much like this theory because it reflects the outcome of crime on me. As if just going to the grocery store is a reason for someone to act out (towards me) in a criminal manner.

Fifteen years after taking this course and after scanning pages and pages of notes from this time period, if I had to deduce why people commit crimes (again, based purely on my notes) it would be either because of 1) control, 2) opportunity, 3) social learning and 4) strain and/or pressure.

Why all this?

Simply my feeble attempt to make sense of acts that, to me, make no sense at all. I simply cannot imagine hating someone SO MUCH based solely on that person’s preference of who they like and who they decide to be intimate with. Why is that my problem? Why was that their problem when they attacked Daniel? Why then, is the same rationale not continuously rehearsed, say, with prostitutes? Or people who marry, then divorce, marry, then divorce? This isn’t a statement to condone but a statement questioning why this rationale is limited to a homosexual? But that’s my rational mind trying to make sense of irrational impulses and reasoning.

Personally I blame the society where these criminals have spent the majority of their time. Delusions of grandeur (based on the fact that they are proclaimed neonazis), lack of proper and immediate punishment from authorities, ignorance, poor stimuli, learned and justified criminal activities, family support or lack thereof. Finally, in some form, I believe that in the case of Matthew Shepard as with Daniel Zamudio, their attackers also had fear in common. Though I’m sure they wouldn’t agree with that …

I wonder if my own personal reaction to these acts are in some way “criminal-minded” as well? In cases like this, I would support eye-for-an-eye. No questions asked. No rehabilitation, no mercy. Why is this? Because I’m angry. I’m angry that such barbaric acts continue to occur in this day and age and I’m angry that the powers-that-be have not introduced sufficient deterrents of such crimes. And it angers – and scares – me that the perpetrators, as well as would-be perpetrators, just don’t care. This is a cycle that I see: There is lax authority and so, the would-be perpetrators aren’t deterred. How can the authorities really instill iron-fist consequences to such acts when surely there are still a great number out there who don’t “agree” with homosexuality? Though I’d like to think that even if they don’t “agree” with it, surely they wouldn’t condone such violence?

RIP, Daniel Zamudio

In the end I guess this process of trying to comprehend the incomprehensible is all pretty much in vain. It’s not going to bring Matthew Shepard back any more than it will bring Daniel Zamudio back. It can’t erase the hatred that exists in this world towards people who simply choose other options. It doesn’t revert ignorance and it doesn’t feed kindness and understanding. Criminal minds don’t care and the authorities and powers-that-be will continue to lament without really offering urgently needed solutions (deterrents, as I like to say). The examples we have are in the Matthew Shepard case itself. Though this crime occurred in 1998, it wasn’t until 2009 that President Obama was finally able to sign the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to apply to crimes motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation (among other things). In the case of Matthew Shepard, legislation caught on almost a decade later. It makes me wonder how long it will be until Chilean legislation and subsequent law enforcement react accordingly to the acts of violence committed against Daniel Zamudio.

Though really, is justice ever truly served?

Did you like this? Share it:

Hello world!

“Hello world” is the automatic heading WordPress gives you as an example title of your first post. I’ve decided to keep it, knowing, of course, that we can’t call this my first blog post.

Self-imposed description of the blog I once offered.

In some ways we can and in some ways we can’t. As some of you know, I once had a blog devoted mostly to 1) leaving my life in California,  2) adapting to my new life in Chile and 3) living with my then-fiance (now husband). I liked that blog and it was a necessary part of my life as I learned to navigate this bad ass world called Chile. It also helped me meet many a new people, namely bloggers and online social folk like me. Then I had an existential crisis and decided there was NO WAY I could continue to have that blog when all of a sudden, a million months had gone by and I was no longer a newbie here.

So … I decided to start a new blog which, in my head, allowed me to write about ANYTHING. One that would allow me to deviate from writing about life in Chile, culture in Chile, people in Chile, food in Chile, XYZ and 1,2,3 in Chile. I didn’t WANT to write about Chile and everything “wrong” with this country. I was over writing a blog JUST about that. As a result of this crisis, I started a new blog. I wanted it to give me the freedom to be as “sassy” or as bland as I wanted to be. I switched over to another blog host, decked out a blog page and got to writing about whatever the hell I wanted.

And I did do that for a bit … really, a b.i.t.

Then all of a sudden I felt pressured to write something CLEVE

R each and every time. I went from pressure to write about new experiences and observations pertaining to Chile, to pressure about writing  mind-blowing, life altering anecdoes and any knock-down, drag out experiences that only I could serve. Um yeah, except my life is not that exciting. My top-3 things to write about continued to focus on hating Chile, hating my neighbors or loving my dog and his smooshy face.

I need an hour or so with this one.

Hardly sassy and hardly enough material to carry on an entire blog.

The fact of the matter remained, however, that not a day went by that I didn’t want to write. Just sit and write. I used to have diaries and those are fine and dandy, of course, but in this technology obsessed world I live in, typing takes less out of me than the whole pen-to-paper bit. I’m here again because that overwhelming desire to write, even if for myself, won.

A below-the-radar blog that suits me just fine. Kind of like Goldilocks and the three bears. Whereas I’m G-funk-meister herself and the blogs are the bears. This one is juuuuust right.

Did you like this? Share it:

Sorry my blog layout has gone schizo

I feel the need to send a quick apology shout out regarding my two layout changes today. No I’ve not gone schizo and no, I won’t be treating my blog like some people treat their Facebook profiles (constantly changing profile pics)… I don’t want to get into it but suffice it to say that I had an issue with the one I previously chose today and out of pure frustration have settled for the most blah layout you will possibly come across.

Better known as the one you’re staring at this very second.

Try not to fall asleep looking at this page. Just know it will only compel me to write more heart racing, tear jerking, edge-of-your-seat stories about living in Chile.

Also, I reserve the right to find a more suitable, long term layout option within the week.

Ok, that’s all.
Carry on.

Did you like this? Share it: